Pennsylvania Town OKs False Alarm Fines to Encourage System Maintenance

OLYPHANT, Pa.

Borough Council has passed an ordinance imposing a $200 fine on businesses causing more than two false fire or burglar alarms a year. Effective July 1, the measure was passed to prevent unnecessary wear and tear on firetrucks, save on the cost of gas, and limit the inconvenience of pulling volunteer firefighters from their regular jobs.

Borough representatives say an apartment complex, a food-processing plant and a restaurant are just a few of many sources of frequent false alarms. The council hopes fines will prompt businesses to maintenance their fire and security systems to prevent false alarms.

Fine exceptions will be made for alarms resulting from malfunctioning telephone or electric lines, municipal electric power outages or malfunctions, acts of nature such as lightning, illegal entry into premises or crimes, or alarms immediately canceled by notifying the Lackawanna County Communications Center.

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